From Assemblymember Jaime Williams (D59):
Unbeknownst to the residents of Marine Park, Mill Basin and the Rockaways, the “Party Boats”, with their intoxicated and rambunctious revelers, were moved to the Mill Basin area.
The quiet inlet off of Jamaica Bay will no longer be so quiet. In a surprise phone call from Mayor DeBlasio’s office, I as well as other elected officials were informed that that the notorious “party boats” were on their way to Mill Basin on or before Memorial Day Weekend and as early as May 1, 2018.
The springing of this surprise from the Mayor’s office with less than 30 days’ notice seems to show a disregard for the residents of two different boroughs, and the environment itself.
There was no confirmation from the Mayor’s office of whether an environmental impact study was done regarding the purported docking area for these vessels, nor were any of the elected officials made aware of the possible relocation to the Mill Basin area until the apparent unilateral decision was made by the Mayor’s Office.
There was no public hearing, public notice or any apparent due process, and most importantly members of the communities that these boats will now become a part of, were not made aware of the move.
These notorious and infamous party-boats were sought to be removed from their Sheepshead Bay home due to escalating tensions between residents and the patrons of the party boats. Reports that the patrons of these party-boats were driving from the Sheepshead Bay piers while intoxicated, and numerous incidents of public intoxication and fighting were hallmarks of the rationales for the relocation of the party-boats.
The boats were finally sent sailing from Sheepshead Bay after devastating fight broke out by and between patrons of the party boats in August of 2017.
The Mayor’s office intends to relocate the boats after a years’ time to the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, however with the constant long term construction at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, the feasibility and realistic relocation of the boats may not be within a year’s time, and the actual timeframe may be much longer.
An elected official leading the charge on the relocation of the “party boats” from Sheepshead Bay to Mill Basin and in their in their own statement attested to the improper conditions within the Sheepshead Bay area are the motivation for the relocation. The lack of parking, the lack of restroom facilities and crowd control were all specifically named as benchmarks for the need to remove the party boats from Sheepshead Bay.
The Mill Basin area certainly is not equipped with any of the aforementioned requirements and as such it is baffling why the boats would be moved to an area that is less equipped than the area of their current location.
The initiation of this surprise attack on the residents and the elected officials of the Mill Basin, Marine Park, and the Rockaway area is unexplainable; and the inability to consider the safety and wellbeing of the residents and the businesses within these areas is inexcusable.
As elected officials we are not in a position to hold one community ahead of another, it is incumbent upon all elected officials to work together to protect all New Yorkers as a whole.
I will strongly oppose Mayor’s actions on this issue and will explore all avenues to protect our community and ensure that these blights from Sheepshead Bay do not take up a home in Mill Basin.